Talks to end the nationwide doctor’s strike hinged closure to a deal over the weekend thanks to Sunday’s protracted meeting hosted by Central Organisations of Trade Unions (Cotu) Francis Atwoli.
Atwoli led the doctors’ union officials, representatives of the Kenya Commission on Human Rights (KCHR) to a whole day meeting where a considerable ground was achieved in unlocking the stalemate which has paralysed provision of specialised medical services in public health facilities in the country.
The meeting which was the first one since the Cotu boss offered to mediate the issue agreed on a Return To Work Formulae (RTWF) that according to our source was agreeable to both parties at the doctors’ union, Afya House and the Council of Governors (CoG).
Atwoli according to those privy to the Sunday meeting was at first pushing for the government position that the doctors discard the contentious 2013 CBA and start negotiating a new one, a position that was protested by the union’s officials.
The meeting at Atwoli’s offices at Fifthy Avenue, off Ngong Road was also also attended by Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR) Secretary Patricia Nyaundi.
After hours of talks, the three parties agreed to a Return To Work Formulae (RTWF) which the Cotu boss immediately presented to Health Cabinest Secretary Cleopas Mailu in abid to have it signed and have the strike called off as early as yesterday.
Mailu is said to have received the document and promised to give a comprehensive response today, a decision that will play a key role on whether the doctors calls off the strike or not.
“The doctors, KHRC and Cotu drafted Return To Work Formulae (RTWF) to ensure that we go back to work in February, we hope they will adopt the RTWF so that we get over this once and for all,”said a senior KMPDU official.
According to the RTWF document seen by People Daily, the 2013 should form the basis of the negotiations and be deposited as a court deed, already the government has disowned the 2013 CBA terming it illegal.
The proposal also wants the parties to enter into consent to withdraw all court cases , show cause letters, dismissal letters and any other written or verbal punishments emanating from the strike as a pre-condition of ending the national strike which has affected public health facilities in the country.
Yesterday, chairman of Council of Governors (CoG) Peter Munya confirmed they are more than willing to do everything within their powers to end the strike.
“We are willing to do everything within our powers to ensure the negotiation process moves forward and an agreement is reached so that doctors go back to work,” said Munya yesterday.
The medics are also pushing that all 47 county governments, Kenya National Hospital (KNH), Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital (MTRH), Kenya Medica Research Institute (KEMRI) and all public Universities medical schools sign Recognition Agreement with the union before the called off their strike.
“That the above agreements be effected before KMPDU calls off the strike and that the parties herein agree to engage further in good faith and trust to restore industrial harmony in the public health sector,” read part of the RTWF document seen by People Daily.